Archive for: Zambezi Life


A Home For Man & Elephants on the Zambezi

Elephant! Elephant! Someone shouted behind us. We couldn't discern who. Everyone was running to the edge of the banks, metres from where a low fence of branches had been erected around the little bay leading up to the Malombo village. Br...

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The Beauty of Insect Life on the Zambezi

“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” ~ E.O. Wilson Insect activit...

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Royal Chundu elephant

Slow Dancing With Elephants

If you slow anything down, a scene of a chef cooking ramen, water flowing over a rock, a child running into its parents’ arms, the romance in the moment reveals itself. The emotion of a simple gesture. The beauty is revealed because you’...

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Royal Chundu village 3

Together, Side By Side

The Mushekwa village is a short boat ride from our lodge. We sit side by side (with it on our left, if you’re looking at the river, not from it). To our right is Muluka, the fishing village. We’re far away enough from both to allow for t...

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10 Rules of Canoe Etiquette When on the Zambezi

The Tatler’s guide to yachting etiquette calls for “no shoes, swagger or silliness, please.” You could say the same rules apply to canoeing down the great Zambezi River. Here are a few of our own polite requests... Our 10 Rules of C...

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The Music of the Zambezi River

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” - Albert Einstein Growing up, my parents played music at every opportunity. Even camping...

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Royal Chundu forests

For the Love of Forests

We get rather sentimental when we think about forests. Because of how much they mean to us. It's safe to say that we are living right in the thick of one, in our space on the Zambezi's banks. The island itself is one large green lung tha...

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We All Need Somewhere Where We Feel Safe

A sense of safety is something most of us look for when we travel. It determines our destinations, our journeys, and our well-being before, during and after a trip. It allows us a feeling of calm and peace, so that the real work of trave...

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Royal Chundu

An Appreciation For The Little Things

It's hard to take a bad photo of Royal Chundu and its surrounds, our guest, Tara Turkington, whose images we feature here, told us after her time at the lodge. While we agree, of course, we think it also has a lot to do with Tara's abili...

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The Heart of the Zambezi

The team at Black Bean Productions have captured what we believe to be the heart of the Zambezi, and they have done so, most elegantly, on video, flowing like the great river itself, from our lodge on the riverbank, down to the Victoria ...

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Royal Chundu

In the Garden of Togetherness

As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. And our village, that of Mushekwa, alongside us on the banks of the Zambezi, has many children. Even the children help in raising children. Young boys that reach only to my hips wa...

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Breakfast with Monkeys

Wild animals have perfected the game of playing hard to get. In our relationship with them - one of equality and respect - they make the first move. Should we get impatient, lose ourselves in the excitement, and venture closer, we only s...

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And You Thought BBQs Were Just About Food…

“When I was young I used to watch the night sky for hours, looking for shooting stars. When they fell, I'd go and look for them in my backyard,” the traveller beside me on our sunset cruise said, as she gazed up at the night, waiting for...

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As We Say in Zambia – Part 1

Language reveals so much about a country, about what it values most and least. It is a window to the unwritten laws of the land and its people. The traditional proverbs of Zambia, in particular the area around our setting on the upper Za...

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Here Comes the Sun, Little Darlin’

Tell me that you too can never sleep on the last night of a holiday. Tell me that you also stay up thinking about all the things that have been and all the things that could still be. Because while it may seem like a burden, it's surely ...

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The Infinite Intrigue of the African Skimmer

Whoever said that long distance relationships don't work never fell in love with the African skimmers of the Zambezi River. Perhaps it's easier with birds, though... The skimmers arrive around the month of July, in the dry season, when l...

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The Magic of Strange Chances – A Leopard on the Zambezi

"Many are the strange chances of the world," said Mithrandir in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. Strange chances... those unexpected moments that make the earth feel shaky underfoot, as your body and mind try to readjust to what lie...

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5 Places to Practice the Art of Staring out of Windows

Some of us don't need to be reminded to slow down, to take it easy... some of us have procrastination and idleness down to a T. Cats, for instance. They are connoisseurs of this trait. It's something they practice daily, along with the a...

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Run, Parrotfish, Run

“Hobbies are for pleasure, but rituals keep you going.” ― David Mitchell The annual Parrotfish Run on the Zambezi is about more than fishing. Taking place between June and August, it is more than a hobby for those who take pa...

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For Dads Who Love to Travel

Dads are a diverse breed. They are not one personality, one role, one age. They speak different languages - some use their words, others their hugs; some communicate through quality time, gifts or acts of kindness. Some prefer calm water...

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Night Time Is The Right Time

Following on from our feature on sunsets, we bring you a celebration of the night. “Darkness — like silence, like solitude — belongs to that class of blessings increasingly endangered in modern life yet vitally necessary to the human sp...

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An Ode to a Hippo

It was morning, becoming late morning quickly. As it does when your head is under the duvet, denying the intrusion of sunlight. And you, an early riser, always, you let me lie in. You didn’t make a sound. I would have heard; I was listen...

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Moongazers Anonymous

When you live close to nature, as we do on the Zambezi River, you find yourself taking on a few rather peculiar practices. Obsessive pattern-searching in the clouds and leaves. Potato bush scent-trailing. And, a Royal Chundu favourite......

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The Making of a Morning Person

"The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may ha...

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We went as humans, we return as makishi

There is a saying among the Luvale people in Zambia: "We went as makishi, we return as humans." Canoeing on the Zambezi, I feel something quite the opposite. It is a human, mere human, who embarks on the adventure and a makishi who retu...

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Nightswimming With Elephants

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." - Vincent Van Gogh The starry night without doubt transfixed the painter who once uttered the words above, and it captivates us no less. But even more ent...

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The Case of the Elusive Zambezi Otter

"... that's the beauty of encounters with the wild... Every moment is one of fortune. And fortune, we believe, favours the patient and grateful, just as much as the brave."   We have been practicing what we preach, this art of pati...

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Africa’s Leading Destination… The Victoria Falls

Image from Batoka Sky, Seasons in Africa Such is nature... Each year the travel world does a tally, a review of the year that's been, of the people and places that stood out. It's called the World Travel Awards and it's an award we wo...

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The Life & Times Of A Zambezi Mokoro

They slip past slowly like birds on the water. Several times throughout the day, even after the sun begins its descent, you'll see one, here and there, with new faces each time. New men at the helm, for it is almost always men. The Tong...

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The Season of the Traveller

In December, everyone becomes a traveller. Even those who stay home for the holidays tend to explore their neighbourhood a little more than they would during the rest of the year. The home becomes the guesthouse, a sanctuary of couch nap...

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The Mysterious Language of Trees

The Birds And The Trees There are months when I have more meaningful encounters with trees than people. Maybe that says more about me than the nature of trees, but it isn't because I loathe mankind. Not at all. It is merely due to the ea...

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The Animals You’ll Meet on the Zambezi

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem," said A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh creator and general man of underrated wisdom. In our remote setting on the Zambezi, we often see more animal life than human. T...

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How To Be Quiet – Unexpected Lessons From Unexpected Guests

We are very grateful for this blog and are greatly saddened when the noise of the outside world keeps us from it. Partly because it allows us, as Anaïs Nin wrote, to taste life twice, and partly because it reminds of the little things th...

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The River of Romance

"What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No not just for some but for everyone..." Of all of nature's forms, the rivers of the wo...

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How To Explore The Zambezi

There are many ways to explore the Zambezi River, but only two ways to approach it. With caution and respect. Think of it as a wild horse. With all its beauty and allure, it is still wild. It does bite. But if you follow the rules, it's ...

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Tiger Fishing & The Art of Becoming a Man

Tiger fishing is not for the faint of heart. Not simply because of the fish itself, with its razor teeth... that Hydrocynus vittatus, considered Africa's equivalent of the South American piranha and the first freshwater fish recorded and...

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The Secret Life of the Zambezi Elephant

"There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, and ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.” - Peter Matthiessen What w...

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The Manketti – Zambia’s most useful tree

The Manketti tree is a large tree, 7 – 20 metres in height, the diameter up to 60 cm. It gets its leaves in mid to end October, flowers and begin to bear fruits end October towards beginning of November. The fruit ripens from February to...

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